The huge earthquake that rocked China’s Sichuan Province 11 years ago destroyed large swaths of panda habitat, as well as parts of the Wolong Panda Center, a key breeding facility for the vulnerable species. Several pandas died. The proposed Giant Panda National Park—whose final plan will likely be finalized in fall 2019—spans 10,476 square miles, nearly triple the area of Yellowstone. (Check out three places to see giant pandas in the wild.)
Most of the land will be in Sichuan Province, home to more than 80 percent of wild pandas. The majority of it is not “new”—it brings together dozens of established panda reserves and other protected areas containing thousands of plant and animal species, many of them threatened or endangered.